By Martin Goldstein
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Extra info for Americas Foreign Policy: Drift or Decision
And Representative Charles A. -Ohio) attached an amendment to the Trade Reform Act requiring the Soviet Union in effect to provide assurances that it would allow increased emigration. This modification, known as the Jack-son-Vanik Amendment, infuriated the Soviets. To understand this reaction, we must gain some familiarity with the Soviet outlook on freedom of movement. Westerners are accustomed to regarding freedom of travel as an inalienable right, which government may abridge only under the most unusual of circumstances.
Had Soviet ships run the blockade, nuclear war probably would have resulted. Realizing this, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev respected the blockade and negotiated the withdrawal of Soviet missiles already in Cuba in return for the United States removing its missiles from Turkey. The missile crisis underlined the need to limit US-Soviet rivalry so as to avoid future marches to the brink of war. This fear that unbridled competition might lead to nuclear war led to a series of agreements between the United States and the Soviet Union, beginning in 1963 with the installation of a Hot Line between the White House and the Kremlin.
If East-West relations in the détente era in Europe have yielded disappointment, détente outside of Europe has yielded a severe disillusionment for those who expected a moderation of Soviet behavior. President Reagan, Eureka College commencement address, 1982 This period of mutual accord became known as détente, a French word meaning the relaxation of tensions. But despite détente, US-Soviet competition continued. Moscow lent assistance to one of the three factions fighting in Angola, and this aid, as well as Cuban Page 20 troops, proved decisive in that struggle.